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Saturday says he can provide veteran presence in Green Bay

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Once center Jeff Saturday agreed to join the Green Bay Packers last week, he knew the next thing on his to-do list was to make a possibly uncomfortable phone call.

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Quarterback Peyton Manning, his Indianapolis Colts teammate for the entirety of his NFL career, pushed hard for Saturday to join him on the Denver Broncos, and Saturday knew a displeased Manning would be waiting for him on the other end of that phone call.

"Peyton is a close friend, and I loved playing with him," Saturday told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I loved the time we spent together. It was the most difficult call I've ever made. I told him before anyone else that I was going to Green Bay.

"I told him I don't think the Broncos wanted me as much as he did. They've got things going on that they're happy with and are moving forward with, and I didn't think it was an exact fit. I always felt like in Green Bay, I was their very first choice."

Saturday, 36, has started 188 regular-season games in 13 NFL seasons, all with the Colts, and he told the Journal Sentinel he believes he can provide the Packers with a veteran presence on the offensive line.

"They have a great offensive line and some really good, young players," said Saturday, whose two-year deal reportedly is worth several millions of dollars less per year than the four-year, $26 million contract that former Packers center Scott Wells signed with the St. Louis Rams. "They won 15 games last year; it's not like I have to add a lot to it. But I think I can offer leadership, and being a veteran, I can help the offensive line blossom into players they want to be."



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